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Hillsborough investigators appeal for 12,000 witnesses to come forward
HILLSBOROUGH investigators are calling for up to 12,000 witnesses to come forward after fears supporters’ statements may have been changed in the aftermath of the disaster.
The families of 96 football fans who died watching Liverpool in the FA Cup semi-final, including twelve from Wirral, have been looking for answers ever since the 1989 tragedy.
Described as the "biggest criminal investigation into police misconduct in the history of the country”, the Independent Police Complaints Commission have been working from Centre Park in Warrington after the Hillsborough Independent Panel report led to the quashing of the original inquests last year.
Speaking on Tuesday, IPCC deputy chairman Deborah Glass said the investigation was now looking into the 12,000 eyewitness accounts West Midlands Police collected.
She added: “I know this will be difficult for many of you to recount these incredibly traumatic events.
“I know for many of you Saturday April 15, 1989 was by far the worst day of your life and many of you still carry deeply painful memories.
“It will be difficult for you to put your trust in the establishment after being let down so often in the past but we need your help.
“I can assure you we want everyone to have a voice.”
Police watchdog chiefs would not go into detail about what changes they thought had been made to fans’ statements or to what extent but added they were also keen to hear from fans at the match who had not previously given eyewitness accounts.
Last week marked one year since the Hillsborough Independent Panel published its report with a number of families criticising the IPCC for its lack of progress.
Mrs Glass added she did not know how long it would take for the latest part of the investigation to be completed but she wanted to ensure it was a ‘thorough job’ and there was a ‘compelling need to make sure it was done properly’.
Anyone with information should complete the witness appeal form via ipcc.gov.uk/Hillsborough-witness-appeal or call 0300 200 0003.
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